Articles Posted in Discrimination

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently sued Fannin County, Georgia for age discrimination on the basis that the county violated the law by choosing to layoff employees who were over 60 years of age. According to the lawsuit, the Fannin County Road Department decided to reduce its workforce back in November 2011. There were 11 people chosen to be laid off, four of whom were younger than 60 years of age and seven of whom were older than 60. Subsequently, the County ended up rehiring three of the four employees who were under 60 within a few months of being laid off; however, the County did not rehire any of the employees who were older than 60.

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Individuals are turned down for jobs for a variety of reasons. Some job applicants are simply unqualified for the position sought, while others are over-qualified. However, there are occasions when job applicants are turned away for discriminatory reasons, such as race or age. Accordingly, it is important for business owners to work with a Georgia employment attorney to ensure that their policies and hiring practices are legal and nondiscriminatory in every way. An attorney can appropriately evaluate employment policies and make a determination with respect to the possibility or existence of discriminatory hiring practices that might subject a business to litigation.

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According to a recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Georgia Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of 23 law clerks who had filed a wage discrimination lawsuit against Fulton County. The Court’s ruling affirmed an arbitration ruling that awarded the law clerks at least $4.3 million in back pay. A Superior Court already had affirmed the arbitration ruling on appeal, and Fulton County sought review of the ruling by the Georgia Court of Appeals, claiming that the award of back pay was barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity. The Court of Appeals also remanded the case back to Superior Court so as to allow the law clerks to collect back pay from the date of the arbitration to the present, which amounts to an additional $500,000. As your Georgia employment lawyers can tell you, this ruling is a huge win for the law clerks of Fulton County after six long years of litigation.

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In a five-to-four decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that retaliation claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which governs discrimination in employment, are held to a stricter standard of proof than other types of discrimination claims. In University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, the Court very strictly interpreted a statute that was enacted in order to overrule a prior Supreme Court decision. As a result, the Court found that in a retaliation claim concerning the denial of permanent employment to a temporary employee, the individual must prove that he or she would have gotten the permanent job, but was denied for the retaliation that occurred by the employer.

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Age discrimination complaints are on the rise as the average age of American workers continues to increase, and Americans continue to work longer before retiring. In fact, a recent Forbes article notes that according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the number of age-related complaints in recent years has skyrocketed. From 1997 and 2007 there were between 16,000 and 19,000 annual age discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC. Since 2008, that number has increased to between 23,000 and 25,000 age discrimination complaints annually. As your Atlanta discrimination attorney can tell you, it is illegal under federal law for an employer with 20 or more employees to discriminate against an employee who is 40 years or older.

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According to a recent press release from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there are now publications available that specifically address the employment rights of people with some specific disabilities, including diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities. While EEOC publications in the past have primarily addressed employment rights of the disabled in very general terms, these revised publications specifically designate people with these medical conditions as falling under the purview of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). More particularly, the ADA Amendments Act changes the definition of disability so as to make it easier to conclude that these medical conditions qualify as disabilities for the purposes of the ADA.

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WSBTV is reporting that a federal judge has awarded an Atlanta man $1.18 million as a result of his discrimination lawsuit against Fulton County. In 2012, a jury awarded Doug Carl, a former employee of the Fulton County Department of Human Services (“DHS”), $300,000 for back pay that he would have received had the county not discriminated against him. The judge’s additional award covers issues such as the loss of the Carl’s position, the loss of his pension, and five years of future pay, since he would have been eligible for retirement at that time. Whether the county will be responsible for Carl’s hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees remains an outstanding issue. This is an important case for your Atlanta employment attorneys, as it shows just how costly an employment discrimination lawsuit can be for parties on both sides of the dispute.

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Although many things have changed in American society over the past 15 years, views on gender inequality in the workplace haven’t seemed to change too significantly. According to moneytalksnews.com, a poll of 1,000 conducted this April by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal found that little had changed since a similar poll was conducted over 15 years ago in 1997. The poll revealed that an overwhelming majority of women still believe that they are discriminated against at work on the basis of their gender. However, your Atlanta employment lawyer notes that there were signs of optimism that were not present in the previous poll in terms of the ability of a woman to effectively balance her work and home life.

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According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), age discrimination occurs when an employee or an applicant for employment is treated less favorably due to his or her age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) is the federal law that governs age discrimination in the United States. However, the Atlanta employment attorneys at John L. Mays, Attorney at Law warn that the ADEA protects only those individuals who are age 40 or older from employment discrimination. As many workers have experienced, age discrimination can happen at any level and any age.

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On Tuesday, June 5, 2012, John L. Mays, Attorney at Law scored a decisive victory for Seven Oaks Academy of Lilburn, Georgia, successfully defending the small daycare against a former employee’s appeal of the District Court’s Order dismissing her lawsuit. The plaintiff’s claims, which grew out of allegations of religious discrimination, included religious harassment, hostile work environment, civil conspiracy, and negligent hiring and retention, and sought the statutory maximums in compensatory and punitive damages.

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